All Along the Watchtower

‘There must be some way out of here’ Said the joker to the thief ‘There’s to

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  1. Thank for sharing your enlightening analysis. I’m a fan of (and contributor to) NPR and several of its affiliated local stations, but I think your analysis is spot on. I especially particularly appreciate the way in which you critical while still recognizing the value of what NPR is trying to do. Two questions (and a suggestion):

    1. Would you find it less objectionable if NPR had identified what was “fact checking” and what was “context”?

    2. Have you shared your analysis with NPR? Like any organization comprised of fallible human beings, NPR has yet to achieve perfection. On the other hand, its management/staff seems open to criticism, willing to accept responsibility for its shortcomings, and able to make changes over time. If you haven’t done so already, I would encourage you to do so.

  2. Avatar for rguinn rguinn says:

    I’m generally a fan of NPR, too, although generally more of the non-news content (WWDTM / Old Car Talk). Not on the basis of any issues with their news production, but because I find radio and TV to be too slow-to-consume to be useful to me personally.

    The answer to your first question is yes. Still, better lines wouldn’t be a full remedy for the broader issues of fiat news. The monocultural nature of most newsrooms on left and right make it very likely that localized common knowledge effects will steer people in the direction of thinking their opinions to be self-evident - equivalent to fact. In other words, we start to think that our judgments and analyses are as well-supported as facts and belong in news, even if we are otherwise trying our best to isolate that kind of content. Clearer segmentation would still be a step in the right direction. Given NPR’s unique funding sources and (one presumes) lower sensitivity to needing to drive clickbait, they’re also uniquely well-suited to doing better on this front.

    The answer to your second question is no. We haven’t given that much thought. We will now.

  3. Rusty, OK, this is a good test case for me because as I read this article yesterday my first reaction was being p*ssed off that

    1. That’s ANOTHER example of the biased mainstream media and
    2. How the H*ll is it fair that the Federal Gov’t financially supports another Liberal media site.

    Then I remembered ( from your and Ben’s insightful articles) that one of the on-going “narratives” of Conservatives is that the media is slanted to the left (and how unfair that is !) which then made me pause… in self-reflection

    Now your line above that “the monocultural nature of most newsrooms on the left and right…” doesn’t help matters.
    Why? Because to me your line implies that there is roughly an even amount of newsrooms that are as right as on the left.
    Yet the actual ratio has got to be way higher slanted to the Left.
    And now I get a little p*ssed off again

    SO, why not just call a spade a spade Rusty? The Left has a strangle hold on the media and uses it as much as possible for political advantage. Then sanctimoniously claims it is “The Truth”
    The Right has Fox but they get portrayed by the Leftish mainstream media as buffoonish, slanted and unworthy.

    So help me, how should a Libertarian (at the National level) proceed?

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